Monday, January 07, 2008

Hot Video Game Sales Fuel Holiday e-Commerce Growth

Online sales of video games, consoles & accessories during the 2007 Holiday season jumped 129% from 2006, with popular consoles like Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation and games like Halo 3 driving strong sales in the category, according to comScore.

Furniture, appliances & equipment (up 67%), event tickets (up 24%) and consumer electronics (up 23%) also experienced above average growth, comScore said in its final report on Holiday season e-commerce.

After seeing substantial softness early in the season, online apparel sales picked up considerably in the latter part of the season, finishing up 18%. Meanwhile, sales of jewelry & watches declined marginally versus year ago as rising costs in precious metals like gold and platinum may have dampened consumer demand, comScore said.

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Total e-commerce spending for the 2007 holiday season (Nov 1 – Dec 31) was $29.2 billion, a 19% gain versus the same period last year and just short of comScore’s forecast of $29.5 billion. This compares with a 20% growth rate during January-October.

“Green Monday” (Dec 10) was the heaviest individual spending day of the season with $881 million in sales, followed by Tuesday, Dece 11 ($819 million) and Thursday, Dec 6 ($803 million) “Cyber Monday” (Nov 26), which represents the first major spike in online spending activity during the season, ranked as the 9th heaviest day with $733 million.

foresee-logo.gifShoppers may have spent more online but they were slightly less happy with their experience than in the previous year. Customer satisfaction during the 2007 holiday season with the Top 40 US online retailers slipped one point (1.3%) from last year, according to the ForeSee Results Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index.

The annual study measures online shopper satisfaction using the scientific methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The research gauges how satisfied online shoppers are, and how satisfaction influences whether they’re likely to buy again from the retailer (online or offline), recommend the site, and remain loyal to the retailer in the future.

Netflix (86) and Amazon (82) led the Top 40 in customer satisfaction during the critical holiday perio. QVC and L.L. Bean round out the list of sites with sites with scores of 80 or higher, putting them in an elite group of websites delivering a stellar online experience. Both sites’ scores remain unchanged from last year.

On the other end of the spectrum are CompUSA and Office Max, with respective scores of 67 and 68.

Costco, Avon and Zappos have most effectively improved their online shopping experience to better meet consumers’ needs since last holiday season.

Compared to last holiday season, online shoppers are 7.5% less likely to buy offline from the retailer in the future, due to aggressive discounting, an increase in competitive online shopping activity and higher gas prices, ForeSee says.

Jason Kiwaluk

Mower & Shoveller,

Ideation | Ecommerce | Fintech | Innovation | Strategy | Opinionated Agitator RevenueWire,FuturePay+PayMotion

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